521-Class 14

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Linguistic framing of space and time[edit]

Readings: Majid et al (2004); Boroditsky et al (2010); (+optional Haun et al., 2011 reading)
+ Please listen to Lost & Found Radiolab podcast

Study Questions[edit]

Majid et al. (2004)

  • Know the difference between Relative, Intrinsic, and Absolute (a.k.a. Geocentric/Allocentric) frames of reference (FoR)
  • Are the three FoRs mutually exclusive?
  • What are some of the different strategies that cultures use in “parsing” FoRs?
  • What was the point of rotating the subjects rotated when evaluating spatial cognition and FoRs?
  • What is meant by “ecological determinism” and FoRs?
  • Could some FoRs be easier to learn?
  • Could experience using certain FoRs make someone a better navigator? Be able to speculate on how this might work.

Lost & Found Radiolab Podcast

  • What was so strange about Sharon’s condition?
  • What are “grid cells”/”place cells”?
  • Why wouldn’t a simple magnetic sense help GI-Joe the pigeon find his way back?
  • What consequences can we draw from the finding that a third of the world’s languages use absolute FoRs?

Boroditsky et al. (2010)

  • What differences between English and Mandarin are the authors comparing?
  • How is priming being used in the context of Boroditsky et al’s task?
  • Is there overlap in how English and Mandarin speakers talk about time? Think about time?
  • How might a culture’s writing system affect the way they organize time?